chapter  7
12 Pages

FM and wavetable synthesis

WithRick Snoman

Frequency modulation synthesis produces sounds through operators rather than oscillators. An operator is a sine wave that features its own amplitude envelope. Sounds are generated by routing the output of one operator onto the pitch input of another. While subtractive analog remains the most popular form of synthesis for many dance musicians, both wavetable and frequency modulation synthesis are increasing in popularity. Wavetable synthesis is another digital form of synthesis, this time employing single cycle samples of waveforms and storing them in what are known as tables. Wavetable synthesizers often contain a large number of wavetables, each employing anywhere up to 400 individual cycle samples. When the wavetable position and low-pass filter are modulated via a modulation envelope, it results in some of the most popular and recognizable sounds employed in some of the modern dance genres.